Accelerating Culture

Skip the Treadmill, Go Outdoors This Summer

The same routines, machines and even people, can make you get bored of the gym easily. When you don’t have motivation, working out is tiring and it seems like the only reason you even go anymore is to not let those $60-80 you paid for your membership go to waste.

However, fortunately for us, summer is here and it’s time to make the most of the sunny days ahead of us! Here’s to enjoying some outdoor activities where you can get in shape, enjoy the fresh air and get in touch with nature!

In case you can’t think of some outdoor activities, here are the ones I find most healthy and fun:

  1. Hiking

This one’s the most popular. Hiking is a great way to improve your cardiovascular fitness, to hone your balance skills and to relieve stress, according to Harvard’s Medical School.

Bowness, Fish Creek and Nose Hill are great options and they also have different trails to choose from. Within Calgary, you can hike at Paskapoo Slopes and Waterfall Valley.

Just remember to be cautious and choose the difficulty of the trail depending on your experience. Don’t forget to bring some company and lots of water and it’s sure to be a great time!

  1. Biking

I’m aware this is not for everyone, but it is a very good option if you want to build muscle. The muscles that are being worked are your gluteus muscles, your quadriceps in the thighs and abdominal muscles whenever you’re pedaling and balancing.

Because Calgary’s a cyclist city, it’s also convenient to use bikes as transportation whenever you’re going somewhere close and taking transit is too out of the way.

You can take a ride down Memorial Drive, through Prince’s Island Park or Eau Claire. Any park in the surrounding areas are great options as well. The City of Calgary has maps that can help you to find the best bicycle friendly pathways and to the city’s most popular attractions, places, and parks.

3. Roller Skating

Roller-skating is one of my favourite outdoor activities and definitely an excellent way to get some cardio. Since it’s low impact activity, this is perfect for people who have knee injuries.

According to Live Strong, roller skating provides endurance and strength training to build muscles, not to mention it also improves balance and coordination. In addition, you’ll be having so much fun that you’ll forget that you’re even working out and without realizing it you’ll have already burned more than 300 calories.

Any park in the city is a good choice to go roller-skating. You can either bring a buddy, a date or your ear buds, and you’re sure to get in a great workout!

  1. Rafting / Kayaking

A Calgarian’s favourite. Apart from all the fun and the beautiful views of the city you get to bear witness to, rafting is a perfect way to work out.

Rafting elevates cardiovascular health and strengtens a number of major muscle groups throughout your body. It also increases endurance and improves heart health and is good for weight loss (Live Strong).

Most entry points into the river start at Baker Park, which is located across the Bow River from Bowness Park, and finish either at Prince’s Island Park, Shouldice Park (a major athletic park) or Edworthy Park, which is located in a valley along the Bow River.

Trips might take from one to three hours, depending on the path you choose. Just make sure to bring your safety equipment and keep hydrated throughout your excursion.

  1. Running

I’m a runner myself and without a doubt, I’d rather run outdoors any day, instead of on a treadmill inside. As I mentioned before, Calgary has plenty of parks especially those where you can run. No matter which quadrant of the city you live in, there will be one near your abode.

Running outdoors is beneficial not only to your physical health, but also your mental health. Studies from the University of Exer showcased that people who run outdoors experience a higher measure of vitality, enthusiasm and a decrease of anger and depression.

Running’s a great way to stay healthy during the summer, just be wise and don’t forget to warm up before you start your workout and cool down after you finish. Make sure to also wear the appropriate running shoes in order to avoid any kind of injury.

Whether you’re an extreme activity person or not, these activities are great for the warm summer days and also a fun way to skip the gym and enjoy the amazing weather outside.

Try to find a park near you and an activity that you really enjoy in order to stay active this summer, without having to worry about going to the gym.



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